This year 70.7% of businesses will look to Instagram for marketing, surpassing Twitter for the first time. Being a free advertising channel, this is great news for entrepreneurs.
Since its initial launch in 2010, Instagram has grown to be one of the major household names for both consumers and businesses. There’s more to this famous app than posting a picture. Finding the right image (filtered or not) is only half the battle. I stand firmly behind the idea that words are our truest form of magic. This doesn’t fall short when it comes to your Instagram strategy.
You don’t have to be a natural writer or social media expert to create awesome captions for your posts. Knowing where to place your hashtags, calls-to-action, and other rules of thumb will keep your followers engaged with both your profile and brand.
The next time you go to post a trendy picture keep these Instagram copywriting hacks in mind.
Make your caption relevant
Instagram has a wide range of users with plenty of demographic diversity. While we could spend all day going over the different stats, Hootsuite breaks down the major age ranges you’re most likely targeting:
All in all, you’re going to gain exposure from your target audience on Instagram. The key to making your caption relevant is to make sure your followers will relate to what you’re writing.
Let’s take a look at this post from Nike:
Nike’s typical audience – athletes – can easily relate to the value of teamwork. And winning? Everyone loves winning.
Maybe your audience is a little more narrow and you’re targeting a specific group. Parents.com provides advice to moms and dads based on the many questions and experiences that come with raising a family.
The caption directly speaks to a concern that resonates with many parents. The brand goes a step further to not just address the problem but also provide their followers a solution. That, my friends, is good inbound marketing copy.
Show value sooner rather than later
There’s no stigma against long captions. In fact, they can be quite handy if you’re a foodie looking for the recipe for a delicious dish in your feed. Capture their attention by putting the value of your post in the first part of your caption. See how Proper Tasty uses a long caption but still delivers value (where to get the recipe) in the third line:
Followers interested in making the dish can easily access the recipe and engage with the brand.
It’s also important to add a call to action in the beginning of your long post. This gives your followers a clear path to find out more about the product or service you’re posting about.
Midwinter Co. Jewelry, a small jewelry and watches store, gives a clear call to action for people interested in the diamond featured:
The call to action is simple: DM for info. This is clear and easy to do. The less work your followers have to do to learn or interact with your business, but still receive value, the happier they’ll be!
Tell your followers to engage with your brand.
Here at Spire, we believe in open, real communication. This can also be applied to your social strategy in more ways than one. Encourage people to like, share, or tag their friends and get them involved with your posts. Lately, monthly subscription packages like the Dollar Shave Club have taken over Instagram with their engaging posts.
Not only does this post tag one of their customers (everyone wants their 15 minutes of Instagram fame), but they also encourage the rest of their followers to share their pictures to include everyone. Did we mention this also gets them a TON of free advertising? Geniuses, I swear.
Keep hashtags to a minimum
I’ll keep this one short and sweet with a simple “do” and “don’t” when it comes to hashtags:
A few hashtags are perfectly fine, but their purpose ties back to searches. Using more than four hashtags makes your post come off as “spammy” and isn’t flattering to those scrolling past your picture.
The general rule of thumb is to keep hashtags at the end of your post like you see above. However, it’s okay to use a hashtag in the middle of your post, or as your caption itself. Just don’t overdo it.
Use your resources for inspiration
Everyone who has ever written something has had writer’s block. Heck, I even had it when I sat down to write this. When you need help getting those creative juices flowing, seek inspiration from brands you look up to.
Piggyback off of their techniques to find your tone. If you’re just flat out stuck, turn to technology to help you out. Apps like Captiona are perfect if you’re in need of caption assistance. This app is only 99 cents and can make a world of difference in transforming your Instagram skills.
All you need to do is type in the main keyword you’re wanting to work with and this search engine helps generate ideas that are catchy and true to Instagram’s lightheartedness.
Practice, practice, practice!
Getting familiar with a new social media channel can be challenging. Between finding your brand’s voice and balancing the norms of new territory, it’s important to always remember you’re creating content for your target audience. Keep in touch with what they relate to and current trends they’re interested in. By showing the value of your post within the first few lines along with a call to action, you’re providing a well-rounded post to engage your followers. When in doubt, look for inspiration in successful brands and learn from their successes.
If you’re having trouble getting started, we’re here to help. Let us know if you’d like to chat about different ways you can elevate your social media marketing.
Now get to posting!